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Syrian army attacks Palestinian refugee camps

February 17, 2014 at 11:19 pm

The Syrian army has attacked Al-Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing two refugees and a Syrian, and wounding a child.

Abdul-Basit al-Bitar was killed when an artillery shell landed on his house in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad suburb; the explosion also killed Yahya Yassin as he was walking next to the house. A five-year-old Palestinian child was admitted to hospital after being targeted by a sniper in the same area, while Syrian citizen Montaser al-Maqdisi was pronounced dead on arrival at the camp hospital after being shot by the army nearby.

Several sources reported that Haifa Street, Al-Yarmouk Street, Holwat Zeidan area, Al-Oroobeh area and other places in the refugee camps were targets for the Syrian army on Saturday. Many checkpoints were set up at the entrances of Al-Yarmouk and 30 tanks entered the camp.

The Islamic Resistance Movement has called upon the Syrian authorities and the UN to “double their efforts” to protect Palestinian refugees in Syria, who have been under attack now for months, forcing many refugees to flee. Hamas also called on Palestinians to keep themselves out of the political conflict engulfing the country.

“Thousands of refugees have fled from the deteriorating situation in the camps,” the Hamas statement said. “More than 400 Palestinians have been killed so far, most of them drowned when their vessel capsized off the coast of Turkey.”

The Hamas statement pointed out that the UN and the Israeli authorities bear the responsibility for enabling Palestinian refugees to return to their land, from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948. That would be entirely compatible with numerous UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention, it said. The movement also called on the governments of Lebanon and Jordan to help in the protection of the refugees fleeing “certain death” in Syria.